Journey to the Planets  is a multimedia music concert and adventure for 5-12 year olds and their families at The Concourse, Chatswood  on Saturday 3 August.  The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra will be performing Holst’s Planet Suite, introduced by Ian Stenlake and accompanied by stunning visuals.

Holst’s Planet Suite has seven movements representing the planets known at the time he composed it, between 1914 and 1916. As it was astrologically rather than astronomically influenced Earth is not included. The complete suite received its first public performance in 1920 and has remained a favourite with audiences ever since. To get you in the mood we have two movements.  First is the dramatic Mars – Bringer of War by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox:

The second is Jupiter – the Bringer of Jollity, by the BBC Philaharmonic orchestra from the 2009 Proms. You may recognise the stirring central theme from this movement as a hymn tune to the poem I vow to thee, my country.

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science outreach staff and PhD students will be running some hands-on astronomy activities including making a pocket Solar System model and, weather permitting,  safe solar viewing through small telescopes.   There will be other activities in the foyer too. Your young Space Cadet can learn some Jedi moves from Spaceknight, build their own rocket or do some other astro craft. Pre-concert activities run from 1pm till the concert starts at 3pm.

Willoughby Symphony Orchestra will be performing the suite again, together with Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C major, Jupiter, in a concert, The Planets at 7pm on Saturday 3 August and 2pm on Sunday 4 August at The Concourse.

Celestial objects and Space have inspired many composers. What is your favourite astronomy-inspired piece of music or song?


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